Rakov before 1917


IX century

- a settlement (sizes [m]: 660 x 300) was founded on the place of Rakov.

XIV century

- Rakov was a possession of the Great Lithuanian Prince.


- Polish King and Great Lithuanian Prince Kazimir gave Rakov to Kizgaylo magnate family.


- Rakov became a possession of Zavisha noble family.

1568 - 1791

- Rakov was a shtetle in Minsk Province of the Great Lithuanian Princedom.

2nd half of XVI century

- a Calvin church was founded in Rakov.

1st half of XVII century

- Rakov became a possession of Sangushcha magnate family and the center of Rakov County. Jewish population appeared.

XVI century

- the Orthodox Church of Transfiguration was founded in Rakov.


- small Dominican Cloister of St. Spirit was founded by Konstantsia Sapega-Sangushcha in Rakov.


- King of Rech Pospolitaya August II awarded Rakov with a privillege to hold two annual fairs.


- Kazimir Sangushcha founded a Baselian monastery by the Church of Transfiguration.


- the Cloister of St. Spirit was destroyed by fire, but was rebuilt anew.

1791 - 1793

- Rakov was a shtetle in Minsk Province of Polish Kingdom.

Since 1793

- in Russian Empire.


- Rakov was confiscated by Russian Empress Catherine the Great from Sangushcha magnate family and was given to Count Saltykov.

Since 1801

- Rakov was a shtetle in Minsk District of Minsk Province.


- Count Saltykov sold Rakov to Zdzikhovsky noble family.


- wooden Roman Catholic church and chapel were built by local Roman Catholic Brotherhood.


- the old Cloister of St. Spirit was closed, the church became a parochial one.


- the Baselian monastery was closed in Rakov, the church became a parochial one.

Vital Statistics


Number of Jews

Number of Non-Jews


Specific gravity in total population number

XVI century

Jewish population appeared



No info

Male adults only

No info



Total population

No info


About 3000

Total population

over 50%




Both sexes

59,5 %



Total population

No info

Jewish Life

By 1900 in Rakov there were:

- a synagogue;

- 4 praying houses.

Economical Review.

Since early time Isloch river was the main road and trade way for local habitants, who were busy with agriculture, pottery and livestock farming.

Since 1550, after Sangushcha magnate family had become Rakov possessor, the shtetle started to developed rapidly. Resident Jewish population appeared. Traditional activities of local Jewish population were growing of vegetables and trade with them, trade with grain and vodka.

Since XVIII century big market took place in Rakov every Monday.

During Russian principality, vodka trade was under state hard control and became less popular among Jewish businessmen. But Russian authorities did a lot to develop the region because of military and fiscal reasons mostly. First of all, old communications were reconstructed there:

- trade road Minsk - Pershay -Volozhin - Oshmyany;

- trade road Rakov - Vileyka.

In XIX, because of development of the AllRussian Market, new types of communications appeared in the region.

Since 1873 the closest railway and telegraph stations were in Zaslavl (17 km).

Those events provoked new rapid increase of Rakov. Soon after 1873 the dirt road from Rakov to Radoshkovichi was constructed.

In the late XIX - early XX century in Rakov and the Subdistrict there were:

- few mills;

- a vodka factory;

- a sawmill;

- agricultural machines building industry (seeding, mowing, threshing machines, manual mills, etc.) (since 1843).

Those machines were popular not only in the locality, but in Pskov and St. Petersbourg Provinces.

Since late XIX century Rakov became famous for horse thieving. The horses were usually sold in Vilno Province.

Here is the table of development of Rakov in the 2nd half of XIX - early XX century:

Date of record

Number of houses







Here is the list of major business and trade enterprises of Rakov and the Subdistrict for 1902.

Name of owner

Type of business


Abramov Sholom son of Iosel



Galinker Rasha son of Itsko

Fabric store


Ghinzburg Yudel son of Mendel

Iron store


Goldin Pantiel son of Ovsey

Fabric store


Kats Abram son of Khatskel

Fabric store


General cultural information.

Before 1839 in the Cloister there were:

- a rich library;

- an archive;

- a boarding house of St. Anna;

- a hospital.

After 1839 all those were taken by the Provincial Treasury and, probably, destroyed.

In beg. XX century in Rakov there were:

- the Roman Catholic Church of St. Spirit;

- a Roman Catholic chapel;

- the stone Orthodox church of Transfiguration;

- an Orthodox chapel on the cemetery;

- a Roman Catholic public primary school (since 1870s);

- a post office and telegraph station (since 1887);

- a public primary school;

- a pharmacy.

The closest doctor was in Zaslavl (17 km).

Copyright 1997-1998 Oleg Perzashkevich